Water sector

An Expert's View about Environmental Technologies in Saudi Arabia

Posted on: 28 Sep 2012

The Saudi Arabian Water sector needs an immediate investment of approx. US$17 billion and over US$93 billion for the next 20 years.

Water sector in Saudi Arabia The Saudi Arabian Water sector needs an immediate investment of approx. US$17 billion and over US$93 billion for the next 20 years. This is needed in order to meet the high consumption caused by rapid population and industrial growth. Market overview Saudi Arabia is located in one of the most arid areas of the world. It is listed under the ‘absolute water scarcity’ category (i.e. will not be able to meet its water needs by 2025) due to limited natural resources (average rainfall is less than 70mm/year). Sewage systems are in short supply in Saudi Arabia, existing in only 22 of the 106 municipal areas countrywide. Saudi Arabia’s demand for water is growing rapidly. Many of the water and sewage treatment plants built in the late seventies are nearing the end of their useful work life and the growing population is making the capacity of these plants insufficient to meet demand. Massive investments are needed to upgrade or replace the existing water desalination plants, water/wastewater treatment plants and potable/sewerage networks. More investment is needed to build new systems to meet the spiralling demand for drinking water and for sewage treatment. Key opportunities The water and wastewater sector in Saudi Arabia currently faces a number of key challenges: ξ Historically, certain utilities, particularly wastewater, have suffered from years of under- investment. In addition, human resource capabilities require upgrading, mainly in commercial and customer services skills. ξ Current water supply tariffs are among the lowest and production/transportation costs among the highest in the world. ξ Average per capita consumption in Saudi Arabia is in excess of 280 litres per person per day. ξ UFW (unaccounted-for water) ranges between 30 and 55%, and leakage between 30 to 50%. ξ Inadequate amount of basic information, e.g. leakage rates, metering performance, state of water networks, infrastructure, etc. ξ At 3.8%, Saudi Arabia has one of the world’s fastest rates of population growth; at least 50% of the current population is below the age of 15. Coupled with the current rapid economic growth, water demand in the country is rapidly increasing (by 6% annually). ξ Total potable water supply is approx. 5.72 million cubic metres per day, whilst the current requirement is over 6.5 million cubic metres per day. Reform process: In order to deal with these challenges, the Government has embarked on a process of reform and has defined a vision for the future that would enable the country to have a world class utility system. Saudi Arabia’s current state spending (2011/12) includes SR30 billion (US$8 billion) for new water, sewage and desalination projects. The following are some other specific business opportunities in the Saudi Arabian water sector: ξ Construction of desalination plants. ξ Construction of treatment plants and desalination of well water. ξ Laying conveyance pipelines. ξ Expanding of Water distribution network ξ Expanding of wastewater networks. ξ Wastewater treatment plants. ξ Developing strategic reservoirs and emergency distribution systems. Latest export opportunities in the Environment & Water sector Latest export opportunities in Saudi Arabia Getting into the market Find general information on the Saudi Arabian market conditions on UKTI’s website. The Doing Business Guide for Saudi Arabia gives an overview of Saudi Arabia’s economy, business culture, potential opportunities and an introduction to other relevant issues. More about doing business in Saudi Arabia Contacts Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS). To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country - or contact your local international trade team. Omar Saeed, British Consulate-General, Jeddah. Tel: +966 (2) 622 5550 or email: omar.saeed@fco.gov.ukContact your local international trade team UKTI Events UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows. Latest events in the Environment and Water sector Major Events Saudi Water & Power Forum Date: 02 – 04 December 2012 Website address: www.ksapf.com Gulf Environment Forum Date: 14 - 16 April 2013 Website address: www.gulfenvironmentforum.com Useful links More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters
Posted: 28 September 2012

See more from Environmental Technologies in Saudi Arabia

Expert Views    
Water Opportunities in Saudi Arabia   By UK Trade & Investment
Environment Opportunities in Saudi Arabia   By UK Trade & Investment
Water sector   By UK Trade & Investment
Hot Tips    
Water Resources Equipment in Saudi Arabia   By U.S. Commercial Service Poland
Latest News    
Saudi Arabia gets serious on solar   By Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC)